🎃 A new short story every day of October 🎃

Mormon Ghost Stories

Don't say Mormon

Cover Image for Don't say Mormon
Moroni's Ghost
By: Moroni's Ghost

“What’s in a name or, in this case, a nickname? When it comes to nicknames of the Church, such as the “LDS Church,” the “Mormon Church,” or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints,” the most important thing in those names is the absence of the Savior’s name. To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan. When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us—even His Atonement.”

President Russell M. Nelson, General Conference, October 2018

“Mormon?” Craig asked “What’s a Mormon?”

Ally, who had been sitting within earshot but hadn’t yet gotten involved, marched from her table in the cafeteria over to where Craig, Brett and a few of their friends were sitting.

“That’s enough Brett,” she said sternly. “You’ve been bad mouthing me and what I believe for long enough. But this is the last straw. I am not Mormon! I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t want to hear you calling us Mormons again! And now you are spreading this to Craig. He’s only been here at the school for what? Four days?”

“Woah!” said Brett. “Sorry Ally, we were just talking about going out for coffee this weekend, I mentioned you don’t drink it is all. Then I told him it was because you are Mor…” Ally stared daggers at Brett. “Er, um I mean, because you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of… what was that last bit again?”

“Of Latter-day Saints” she said, clearly exasperated.

“Yeah, of Latter-day Saints” Brett corrected himself. “Craig here was actually wondering if you wanted to come?”

“Oh” Ally suddenly blushed “well… I don’t drink coffee, but I could get a hot chocolate or something…right? What day?”

“Sunday morning,” Craig said, “we would love to see you there.”

“Oh, I can’t go on Sunday…maybe next time.” And with that, Ally quickly went back to her table, gathered her things and scurried away.

“Is… she always like that?” Craig asked.

“No, not always. I was dumb once in middle school and made fun of her being Mormon. I honestly don’t even remember what I said, but ever since then if it comes up at all she gets sent into a tirade. Other than that she is normally cool though. Just… super touchy about her religion.”

“Oh, so, do you think I should still try asking her out?”

“Up to you my dude. She is hot, but…don’t expect things to go very far… Mormons can be real stuck up about that kind of stuff.”

“I don’t know man, I hear Mary is into some pretty wild stuff” Jason interjected. “I may or may not know from personal experience.”

“Well, I might still give it a shot, I just will have to avoid saying Mormon I guess!” Craig laughed.

Craig waited a few days before finally getting Ally’s number in the hallway at school. He decided to text her that evening.

Craig: Sup Ally? Do you want to hang this weekend? Are you free Saturday morning?

Ally: Oh, sorry I have a church thing Saturday morning.

Craig: What kind of church thing is it?

Ally: Well, families in my church volunteer to clean our church building every week, this week is my family's turn so I have to go clean. Maybe some other time.

Craig: I’ve never actually been to a Mormon church before, do you guys need any help?

Craig looked at the text before he sent it. Then he suddenly remembered how much she disliked the word Mormon. He corrected himself before sending it.

Craig: I’ve never actually been to a church building for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before, do you guys need any help? Then maybe we could do something after we finish?

Ally: Oh, yeah, my Dad will be happy. They have a hard time getting people to clean so any extra help is welcome! I’ll text you the address. We will meet there at 8am.

Craig: Bet. I’ll see you then.

Craig put down his phone in relief. He got nervous texting girls he liked. But Ally, despite some religious hang ups, seemed really cool. Plus he had seen how nice she was to everyone else at school all the time. And Brett wasn’t wrong, she was really cute. He didn’t normally have much luck with girls, but maybe helping at her church would help him get a chance to know her better.

Craig showed up to the church building at 7:50 Saturday morning ready to clean. He got out of his beat up blue sedan and waited by what he hoped were the front doors. The building had 4 or more entrances from what he could tell. He just picked the one closest to the street he had come from and wished for the best. A few minutes later, what appeared to be a mini bus arrived. A large number of children of varying ages came out until Ally appeared at the tail end of the bunch. Craig waved as she walked up to the entrance. A man, who Craig assumed was Ally’s father, stepped out of the driver's side of the van.

Ally’s father reached Craig before Ally did. He reached out his hand for Craig to shake, which Craig accepted. Ally’s father then proceeded to squeeze his hand much tighter than seemed required.

“Nice to meet you Craig, and thanks for coming out here to help us this morning. I’m Brother Merrill, Ally’s father. She’s told me a lot about you. Says you are new at the school?”

“Yes sir.” Craig said. “We just moved from out of state this summer. We’ve really been enjoying it though.”

“Well that's good to hear Craig. Good to hear indeed. Well we can get to know each other better later, but first, we have a chapel to clean.”

He pulled out a set of keys and opened the door to the building, then ushered Craig inside. Craig walked in, breathing in an odd scent that appeared to be a mixture of dust and outdated carpet.

“Hey Craig.” Ally had pushed past her siblings and caught up to Craig, entering right behind him “Thanks again for coming to help us.”

“Anytime,” Craig smiled. “Where do we start?”

“Follow me,” said Brother Merrill.

After he had received the grand tour from Brother Merrill. Craig had been asked to go through the building and collect all the trash from the trash cans. Ally had been given the job of vacuuming all the hallways and classrooms. They had started in something called the primary room, which had drawings and pictures for young kids hanging around. Craig made sure to take extra time working on getting the bags out of the cans so he wouldn’t be finished with a room until Ally had finished vacuuming. That gave him a chance to talk with Ally.

“Sorry about my dad” Ally said as she plugged in her vacuum in one of the classrooms a few doors down from the primary room. “He can be a bit much sometimes.”

“Oh, I get it.” Craig said “My mom can be the same way. The move has been harder on her than the rest of us. We used to live close to my grandma, but now we don’t. My mom and grandma used to see each other all the time. With all the extra time she has now, she has been a bit overbearing. So I feel you.”

“Yeah, parents are like that sometimes.” Ally said.

Just then, Craig noticed a book sitting on a chair in the classroom. The blue cover had golden letters embossed across the front. It read The Book of Mormon.

“What’s this?” Craig asked “I thought you said you aren’t Mormons?”

Ally suddenly turned pale, then nervously glanced over her shoulder. “We aren’t… Mormons” she whispered the last part of the sentence so quietly that Craig could barely hear it. “We believe in the Book of Mormon. But we are called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

“Oh, so is…” Craig paused, unsure of himself, then whispered the next part as well. “Is ‘Mormon’ like… a slur?”

“Oh well…” Ally looked sheepish at her answer “well, we used to say it a lot more. There were movies, a website. But our new prophet has told us that we should always use the proper name of the church now. So we follow the prophet. My dad always says ‘follow the prophet and don’t ever stop it’.” She laughed nervously at the rhyme. “Just… don’t say it around my dad. He takes things like this, from the prophet, very seriously.”

“Oh, ok. Can do.” said Craig. The interaction had made him feel uneasy, but he tried shrugging it off. Maybe it isn’t worth this weird church stuff to try and hang out with Ally. He thought to himself.

He moved along trying to forget the odd exchange, finally ending up in the library which had been propped open for them to vacuum and clean. As he was grabbing the trash and replacing the bag, he noticed a row of old movies lining the shelves of one of the bookcases. He laughed at the array of titles that made no sense to him. The RM, The Home Teachers, Mobsters and Mormons and Meet the Mormons were among them.

“So they really used to call themselves Mormons.” He laughed to himself under his breath. “Weird they suddenly aren’t Mormons anymore.”

He finished grabbing the trash in the rest of the building, then he helped with cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the windows and a few more items before Brother Merrill told them they were all finished and could head out. He was feeling over the whole experience, which had taken 2 and a half hours all together, so he told Ally maybe they could hang out another time.

Craig pulled into his driveway after making the trip back from the church. Only after parking did he notice a piece of paper slightly sticking out of his glove box. He hadn’t remembered putting anything in there for months. He opened the glove box and a note fluttered down to the floor on the passenger side of his car.

He leaned over and picked up the note. He always made sure to lock his car, so this sudden appearance of the note made him feel uneasy. He unfolded the paper to reveal a handwritten letter.

Dear Craig,

Thank you for coming to clean our chapel with us this morning. You were a big help. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend that you spend any more time with my daughter than you already have.

I heard my daughter conversing with you in classroom 14 down the hall from the primary room. My daughter rightly corrected you in using the proper name of the church. I had hoped you would heed her counsel and no longer fail to identify us by our proper name.

I was greatly saddened, as you can imagine, to hear you say the incorrect name for the church, not once, but twice. All within the walls of a building which has been dedicated for the worshiping of God, not for the mocking of Him. Not only this, but you then proceeded to persecute me and my family for our desire to follow the prophet.

Unless you repent of your ways, join us in our Sunday services (in your Sunday best) and start taking the missionary lessons, I cannot in good conscience recommend you as one worthy to spend time with my daughter. Please cease all contact with her immediately.

If you communicate with her. If you tell her of this letter. If you show her this letter in any way, shape or form, please know that there will be consequences. Both worldly consequences, and consequences in the world to come.

With love,

Brother Merrill

Craig put the letter down in disbelief. Brother Merrill had been trailing him the whole time in the church? And he hadn’t even noticed. And apparently he had broken into his car too. He stepped out of his car to hurry into his house when he noticed a van that looked like a small bus headed down his street.

Craig froze as he watched Brother Merrill pull up to his house and park in front of the driveway.

“We forgot to tell you we brought refreshments!” he yelled as he got out of the car. He had a smashed donut in one hand. A lump formed in Craig's throat as he approached.

Brother Merrill whispered as he got close enough to hand Craig the donut. “By the look on your face, I am assuming you found my note. Good. It looks like it has put the fear of God in you. Now, just remember, I also know where you live. Do you have any interest in hearing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ?”

“Uh… I’m not sure sir, I'll have to check with my parents...” Craig said. He didn’t want to get involved with all this craziness. But he was worried saying no would upset Brother Merrill.

“Well, we will be ready for you when you are.” Brother Merrill said. “I hope we,” he emphasized the word we and motioned over his shoulder, “don’t see or hear from you until you are. Until then, remember, the Lord is on my side.”

And with that, he walked away, stepped into his car and drove away. Leaving Craig squeezing a smashed donut in a petrified clenched fist.

Read another story



Pick a story